These days, it feels like no one ever sleeps enough. As sleep becomes more precious than ever, we’re finding it harder to fall and stay asleep—often due to technology.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 95 percent of people use some sort of electronic device during the hour before bedtime (1). While it may seem harmless to shoot off an e-mail or take a final peek at Instagram before turning in, the blue light emitted by our tablets, laptops and smartphones mimics daylight (2). This makes it harder not only to fall asleep but also can leave us feeling tired, anxious and depressed when we wake up.
After a day surrounded by technology, it can seem like the only solution is to power off and kick all electronics to the curb. However, there are some gadgets designed specifically to help you get the best night’s sleep ever.
“I often recommend that patients use apps and/or online community support as an adjunct to treatment, in addition to recommended behavioral strategies to improve sleep and mood,” says Dr. Sara Nowakowski, a clinical psychologist who is board-certified in behavioral sleep medicine. “These devices, mobile apps and internet-delivered insomnia programs are improving all the time, and there is value and clinical utility in them. It is finding the right balance for the patient.”
Below, find eight different devices targeted to help you sleep better.
SleepScore Sleep Tracker
One of many on the market, the SleepScore Max is a non-contact nightstand monitor designed to record sleep and send feedback on how to get better sleep to your smartphone. Touted as “the world’s most advanced sleep improvement system,” it asks you certain questions before bed (such as how much caffeine you’ve had that day) and calculates a nightly “SleepScore” to determine how productive your sleep is.
Sleep Number i10 Smart Bed
If you have a few bucks to spend, the pricey i10 Smart Bed promises the “ultimate in blissful, cooling comfort.” Depending on the model, the bed can adjust height and firmness and can accommodate different settings on both sides. The i10 tracks how you sleep by sending a “Sleep IQ” score to your phone and also controls your temperature while you sleep by absorbing excess heat and releasing it as you cool down.
The Oprah-approved, non-contact Smart Nora promises to banish snoring once and for all. The device comes in two parts—a nightstand monitor and a pillow insert with a pump. As soon as the Nora detects early sounds of snoring (before they become loud enough to wake a sleeping partner!), it triggers the silent pump to inflate and deflate the pillow insert. This motion stimulates the throat muscles, which allows for natural breathing to resume.
Philips Wake-Up Light
If you sleep in a room with minimal sunlight, it can be difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Enter the Philips Wake-Up Light, which uses a combination of light and sound to help you wake up in a more refreshing, natural way. The light also has a sunset simulation to help you wind down before bedtime.
The Aromarest nightstand monitor uses light technology, dual aromatherapy diffusers and sound to help “restore your natural ability to sleep well.” The Aromarest has simulated sunrises and sunsets and can also play soothing sounds to help you fall asleep and wake up or white noise to help you sleep throughout the night.
Designed to monitor your sleep by recording and analyzing brain activity, the Dreem sleep headband claims to have the “most accurate sleep monitoring” technology. Designed for comfort, the headband tracks sleep while also providing sounds to help you sleep through the night through bone conduction. Once you wake up, plug the headband into its charger and it will sync with your phone, providing you with a personalized sleep report.
Dreamlight Sleep Mask
This ain’t your regular sleep mask. The Dreamlight uses light, sound and genetics (!) to help you fall asleep faster and wake up with more energy. The mask has embedded sleep-inducing orange and wake-inducing green lights as well as technology to aid in relaxation techniques. The mask syncs to your phone to track sleep and provide you with a “personal gene profile” to deliver a more tailored sleep schedule.
A climate-controlled, self-making (yes, self-making!) bed can be yours with the addition of the SmartDuvet insert. Placed between the duvet and duvet cover, the SmartDuvet controls the temperature of your bed (allowing for different temperatures on both sides) and also rolls the duvet back into position to make your bed in the morning. Set your ideal temperature and bed-making time from your phone and the SmartDuvet claims to do the rest.
As with all new technologies, it’s important to note that these sleep gadgets, while appealing, may unintentionally disrupt sleep, according to an article in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (3). In addition, very few have FDA approval or endorsement by American Academy of Sleep Medicine-accredited sleep facilities or sleep specialists.
“As with all medical interventions, they are considered ‘experimental’ until randomized clinical trials are conducted to provide empirical evidence of the efficacy and safety,” Nowakowski says. “It is important for consumers to do their homework and look at the evidence that supports its use to improve sleep.”